There’s a quote in Zoo City: “Fashion is only different skins for different flavours of you.”
I see it come up a lot – out of context: tweeted by fashion store twitter accounts, in the top hits on “quotes from the novel” on GoodReads or popping up on Pinterest or Tumblr linked to a playful couture image, perhaps a mad, gorgeous ballgown or a girl with green hair and ripped jeans.
Now, this was a totally throw-away line. An ironic aside by my heroine, Zinzi December, who is known for her caustic humour. But there’s something in it, which has caught on, like velcro to your favourite wooly jersey.
I guess I hit on the perfectly quotable aphorism; cute, catchy commentary with a spark of truth about why we wear what we wear to creatively express who we are inside, on the outside.
It looks sorta deep, but it’s not really.
This is exactly the problem with letting words out of your head and into the wild. They mean something else to other people. And that’s a good thing. Stories are contagious and personal – it’s that magical telepathy. But sometimes they get re-appropriated in ways you’d never intended.
In this particular case, I’d like to re-re-appropriate it.
Here’s MY take on that quote: